James Emejo in Abuja
Accolades from the top management and staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday marked the colourful exit of one of the Directors, Mr. Emmanuel Obaigbona, from the bank after 35 years of meritorious service.
Described by many as an intellectual and one who stood by his word and impacted the careers of many successful CBN staff, Obaigbona rose through the ranks to reach the climax of his career.
The celebration of his exit was held at the governor’s conference room, packed with top management staff, including the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who was represented by CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability (FSS), Mr. Joseph Nnanna, as well as directors of various departments and staff of the bank.
Sources said it was the first time there was such a high level representation at similar events.
CBN’s acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, described Obaigbona as courageous and jovial.
“He’s a very simple person and I am happy he attained this height, “ he said.
Also, CBN Director, Branch Operations, Mr. Rabeh Salisu, said the celebrant had “been in the trenches, fought wars, sustained scars but came out alive and reached the climax of his career.”
He said Obaigbona was an intelligent and industrious person who could instantly proffer a well thought out solution to problems.
Salisu said though the staff were happy he reached the peak of his career, they were saddened with the fact that the celebrant was leaving the bank with vast experience that would have further impacted the bank.
Nevertheless, he said the bank would still approach Obaigbona for his services whenever necessary.
Obaigbona, who was a former president of the CBN staff multipurpose cooperative society, was specifically commended for being instrumental to the survival of the cooperative.
Many staff who had the opportunity to make comments said he touched their lives in a positive way and inspired them along the line of their career.
One staff said:” Obaigbona has confidence and patience and whatever he believes in, he stands by it. “
Responding however, Obaigbona, who is a cousin to the Chairman/Editor-in-Chief, THISDAY Newspapers/Arise Television Network, Mr. Nduka Obaigbona, returned all the glory to God who empowers him to do all things.
He said the CBN had been an experience for him.
He further admonished parents to always speak positive words to their children, noting that his mother’s prophetic pronouncements at the inception of the CBN job, kept his hope alive even when promotions were initially delayed.
“You will not retire until you get to the top,“ the mother had told him- a prayer which saw him rise to the position of a director, the highest office in the civil service cadre.
Obaigbona, who is also known to be a pastor said: ”No matter how bad your children are, say something good about them.”
He further charged his colleagues to affect people’s lives positively without expecting a return adding that by so doing, they would be rewarded by God.
A graduate of Economics from the University of Ife, with an MBA from the University of Lagos, Obaigbona had worked in the Kaduna branch of the CBN and in the personnel, research, branch operations, Abuja Stock Exchange, among others.
He was promoted Assistant Manager (Economist) in 1989; Manager (Senior Economist), 1993; Senior Manager (Principal Economist), 1997; Assistant Director, 2003; Deputy Director, 2006; and Director, January 2017.
He held special positions including Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor (1998).
He was also instrumental in the settings up of the Abuja Stock Exchange between 1998 and 1999 as well as Chairman, Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), (2011-2013).